Types of Proteins and How to Decide Which is Best for You
Which protein is best for you?
How do we know if we’re getting the most out of the protein we choose? Different types of protein are better at repairing the body than others. Some boost immune efficiency, others keep you feeling full so you can cut calories and reveal muscle tone. Others increase muscle and weight to help one “bulk up.” Not all proteins are created the same way or from the same sources. Below you’ll find the most common types of protein powders and what they are most useful for, to help you make more informed decisions.
Whey: Whey protein is a combination of globular protein that are isolated from the liquid that is a by-product of cheese production, the liquid which is which is made up of lactose, mineral, and protein. Whey is high in leucine, isoleucine and valine that contribute to lean muscle mass. Whey protein is quickly digested by the body, although may not be very filling. Whey would be a good option for someone seeking to increase calorie intake verses meal replacement.
Whey Isolate: Whey Isolate is very similar to Whey protein, however is processed differently. There is a much more advanced filtration process, leaving the protein and can be used quicker in the body than Whey because the lipids, lactose and sugar are removed. Whey Isolate also has less calories than Whey.
Casein: Casein consists of 80% of protein found in dairy products. Casein takes longer to digest and will help keep you feeling full for longer. A good source of protein that’s lower on calories that will help build muscle rather than be used as energy. Although some people may have allergic reactions if lactose intolerant.
Egg Protein: Egg Albumin powder is concentrated egg whites, which contain less cholesterol than yolks. Egg Protein is also a good source of amino acids and isn’t derived from dairy products which has less chance of allergic reactions. A good option for those sensitive to Whey/ Whey Isolate or Lactose, but obviously not safe for those with an egg allergy.
Soy: Soy Protein is derived from soybeans as an alternative to meat/ dairy derived proteins. The soybean is a legume that doesn’t have any cholesterol and is low in saturated fats. Soybeans are high in fiber, iron, calcium, zinc and B- vitamins. This protein is efficient and quickly absorbed into the body, but on the flip side it is very high in allergens and the more soy you eat the more susceptible you are to develop allergies.
Wheat: Wheat protein is a low calorie, vegan option verses those derived from meat or unsustainable sources. Wheat protein is lactose and cholesterol free and a low fat alternative. Wheat is high in glutamic acid, which helps the muscles recover. However doesn’t contain the necessary amino acids to add muscle bulk.
Hemp: Hemp seed is a great “super food”. Hemp protein comes from the globular protein-Edestin, that is easy to digest, absorb, and quickly utilized by the body. Edestin is found in our blood plasma and promotes a healthy immune system. Hemp protein is hypoallergenic, however not a high source of protein compared to the other choices, only 30% protein. It’s more of a light protein source which boosts your immune system.
Spirulina (Blue Algae): Also a great super food, Spirulina contains 65% to 71% complete protein in its natural state. Which is much higher than any other unprocessed food. Spirulina is the easiest to digest of all the proteins and extremely easy for the body to break down, because of the lack of cellulose. The amino acids found in Spirulina absorb in the body almost instantly. Almost 30% of the population can’t handle this protein, due to allergens or toxins found in its derived waters. Seafood or shellfish allergies would be a cause.
Rice/Yellow Pea: Rice is high in cysteine and methionine, but low in lysine. Yellow pea protein is low in sulfur containing amino acids, cystlie and methionine but high in lysine. The combination of the two proteins provides a high sources of protein without the allergic reaction. This product is also hypoallergenic and easily digested by the body. This combo is a good source of amino acids, only slightly less that Whey Protein. At high dosages, Rice/ Pea protein can effectively increase lean muscle mass, strength and power.